Historical price tracker: House prices, inflation, energy and more

How the prices of common items in the UK have changed since 1992 in comparison to inflation.

The cost of living in the UK is going through the roof, with the prices of some items rising above inflation. For many, life seems to be getting less and less affordable. This can mean that saving is difficult and trying to get a mortgage deposit together feels almost impossible, especially as house prices are rising at exponential rates. To see how bad the situation really is, we have compared the prices of common items to see how they have changed over the last 30 years and how they compare to inflation.

How much do items cost in 2022

In 2022, inflation rose to the highest it has been since 1992. Inflation reached an average of 8% in 2022. This is reflected in the price increases of all the categories in the graph below.

Petrol prices have risen the most in the past year, with petrol costing 30% more in 2022 compared to 2021 on average. This is followed by a pint of milk, which is 20% more expensive. A loaf of bread (12%) and stamps (12%) are the remaining items where prices have risen above inflation in the past year.

Soft drinks (7%) have increased in price this year marginally below inflation. House prices have risen 6% in 2022, which is just less than the 9% increase in 2021 compared to 2020. Rent prices (4%) have risen slightly less than house prices and a pint of beer has risen 6% in the past year. Worryingly, salaries have risen considerably less than inflation, with annual salaries having only increased by just under 4% in the past year. This is half or 4% less than inflation currently (8%), which is expected to rise even further in the upcoming months.

Item Price change
House prices 5.96%
Rent 4.13%
Pint of milk 19.57%
Stamp 11.76%
Loaf of bread 12.15%
Inflation 8.04%
Pint of beer 5.81%
Soft drinks 6.68%
Petrol 30.14%
Annual salary 4.27%
Electricity 38.87%

Comparing prices from 1992 and 2022

This table compares the actual price differences in 1992 to 2022, with all items having gotten more expensive over the past 30 years. Whilst annual salaries have increased by £19,359, house prices have increased by £233,184 in the same time frame. Where in 1992, house prices were 4 times more than annual salaries, in 2022 houses on average are 9 times the average annual salary in the UK. Rent has also increased from £167 a month to £403 in 2022.

Items such as petrol have increased significantly, with a full 55L tank in 1992 would have cost £23.87, where in 2022 it will now cost £104.50. A pint of milk having risen from 34p to 55p, stamps 24p to 95p, a loaf of bread 55p to £1.20 and soft drinks increased from £1.52 to £2.99.

Item 1992 price 2022 price
House prices £53,213 £286,397
Rent (RPI) £167 £403
Pint of milk £0.34 £0.55
Stamp £0.24 £0.95
Loaf of bread £0.55 £1.20
Inflation 4.20% 8.04%
Pint of beer £1.49 £4.19
Soft drinks £1.52 £2.99
Petrol 43.4p per litre 190p per litre
Annual salary £12,088 £31,447
Electricity (unit price not given)

How much prices have changed in the past 30 years

Finder’s historical price tracker found that house prices have increased by 438% in the past 30 years. This is over 4.5 times the rate of inflation, which rose by 92% since 1992. These high prices make saving for a house difficult, which explains why Brits might start renting more frequently than before.

It’s not only house prices that are sitting far above inflation. In fact, over the past 30 years, the cost of both petrol (338%), first-class stamps (296%), a pint of beer (181%), annual salaries (160%) rent (142%) and a loaf of bread (118%) have risen way above inflation since 1992. Soft drinks (93%) have got marginally more expensive compared to inflation.

A pint of milk (62%) is the only item analysed where the price has increased slower than inflation.

Item Price change since 1980
House prices 438.21%
Pint of milk 61.76%
Stamps 295.83%
Loaf of bread 118.18%
Inflation 92.76%
Pint of beer 181.21%
Petrol 337.79%
Annual salary 160.15%
Cost of rent 141.75%
Soft drinks 93.49%
Electricity 147.67%

Methodology

    Using data from the below sources, Finder worked out the percentage increases in the prices of several common items and compared them to the inflation rate over time.

    Data sources: Land Registry, ONS, Royal Mail and House of Commons Library

For all media enquiries, please contact

Matt Mckenna
UK communications manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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